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April News in Brief

01 April, 2009

♦  The Finnish drives-maker Vacon reports that it received orders worth €69m in the first quarter of 2009 – up from €67.2m in the previous quarter, but 11.8% lower than the same period in 2008. It expects the AC drives market to be smaller in 2009 than in 2008, but says that it strengthened its global position in the first quarter and now holds about 4% of the global market.

♦  Sales in Omron’s industrial automation business fell by 20% to ¥263bn (£1.86bn) globally in the year to the end of March. Although European sales held up during the first half of the year, “conditions deteriorated rapidly” in the second half, Omron reports. It is forecasting a further 18.7% fall in revenues for the whole corporation in the year to March 2010 (on top of a 17.8% drop in 2008/09).

♦  ABB Robotics has signed a deal with BMW to deliver 2,100 industrial robots for plants in Germany, the UK and the US, over five years starting in 2010. The robots will be used for parts-handling, gluing and spot-welding operations.

♦  Although the global market for inductive sensors will experience negative growth for the next two years, it will expand slightly over the five-year period from 2008, when it was worth $1.17bn, to 2013, when it will be worth $1.25bn. This forecast comes form the ARC Advisory Group, which says that European suppliers still dominate the market, although there is no dominant leader.

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